Japan's foreign minister says a major U.S. Marine base set for relocation must stay on the southern Japan island of Okinawa.
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Friday that the Marine airfield in Futenma, a crowded city on Okinawa, should be relocated to another part of the island and not moved elsewhere in Japan or overseas, as some of his party's leadership had suggested.
The relocation of the base, already agreed to under previous administrations in Tokyo, had become a sticky issue between Washington and Japan's newly elected government because of local opposition to the move.
Okada's statement Friday was the new government's clearest to date that it will accept the move of the base to another location on Okinawa.
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